Following the declaration of the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a public health concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank has said it will mobilise $300 million in grants and credits to halt the spread of the virus.
The global lender said the funds would be used to fund cash for work programmes and the activities of the WHO, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and other bodies putting their lives on the line to route out the pandemic.
“Together, we must take urgent action to stop the deadly Ebola epidemic that is destroying lives and livelihoods in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Kristalina Georgieva, the Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank, said.
She noted in a statement on Wednesday that the communities and health workers wrapped in the plague needed more “support and resources from the international community to prevent this crisis from worsening inside the country and from spreading across borders.”
The release notes that $100 million had so far been pumped into helping frontline response to the crisis and strengthening health systems since August.
The World Bank notes that the intent of this round of financing was to assist frontline activities in “the Ebola-affected health zones in DRC and enable the government, WHO, UNICEF, WFP—World Food Programme, IOM— the International Organisation for Migration and other responders to step up the frontline health response, deliver cash-for-work programs to support the local economy, strengthen resilience in the affected communities, and contain the spread of this deadly virus.”
The $300 million is to be funded through the World Bank’s International Development Agency and the Crisis Response Window, which is designed to help “countries respond to severe crises and return to their long-term development paths.”
The virus has so far infected over 2,500 people and has spread from the two primary regions— North Kivu and Utiri into Goma and across the border to Uganda. So far, over 1,437 persons have died from the epidemic.